Polar responses in Russian across modalities and across interfaces

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Abstract

This paper investigates gestures and prosody in polar responses in Russian as part of a larger research program of studying meaning as it is expressed through various channels and constrained at various levels of representation and their interfaces. Based on the data on head nods and a gestural–intonational cluster used to question the rationale behind the antecedent speech act in Russian responses, it argues that gestures and intonational contours should be treated on a par with spoken words and their parts when it comes to fitting them into typologies of meaning-encoding expressions in spoken language. It also shows, based on the data on linear placement of gestural and spoken polarity markers in Russian as well as prosodic grouping in Russian (and English) polar responses, that studying gestural content and prosodic properties of utterances can help us reveal various interface constraints in natural language.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Slavic Linguistics
Volume29
Issue numberFASL 28 extra issue
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Slavica Publishers. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • gestures
  • polar responses
  • pragmatics
  • prosody
  • response particles
  • Russian
  • semantics

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